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Celebs urge Bush to keep word on Africa, AIDS

Celebs urge Bush to keep word on Africa, AIDS. Bono, Ashley Judd, and others will be watching to see if the president keeps his promises

Bono

(Bono: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Just hours before President Bush left for a tour of five African nations, Bono, actress Ashley Judd, and the leaders of Debts, AIDS, Trade in Africa (known as DATA) held a press briefing to urge citizens to pressure the president and Congress to make good on his promises of billions of dollars of aid to African nations in their fight against AIDS and overwhelming debt.

”There has been remarkable momentum on this problem,” said Bono, singing Bush?s praises. ”He really upped the ante with his State of the Union speech? If this Congress he controls sinks the ship by not delivering on the money for MCA [Bush?s Millennium Challenge Account] or AIDS, we will have to reevaluate the way we see him. But right now he deserves a lot of credit.”

He urged citizens to flood their Congressmen with phone calls and letters in advance of a key Thursday vote on spending, saying it would be ”high drama” to see whether a roll call would be scuttled in Bush?s absence. ”This is the defining moment of our generation,” Bono declared. ”In 50, 60 years, people are gonna ask questions: Did you really let millions of people die while you had medicines you could distribute? … If these questions are not asked in the schoolbooks of the future, they will certainly be asked when you meet your maker.”

When asked if he ever considered going into politics, the U2 frontman and outspoken activist joked: ”As the old adage goes, I wouldn?t move to a smaller house.”

Originally posted August 1 2003 — 12:00 AM EDT

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